At long last, a Columbia County contractor and the developers of Riverwood Plantation are nearing completion on a new road into the Greenbrier campus.
Though too late to help with this year's horrendous traffic, the street will provide tremendous relief when it connects the schools and the old and new sections of Riverwood to Washington Road.
It's also appropriate for students and residents to make a connection with the road's namesake - and for the signs to reflect his name's proper spelling.
Pollard's Pass was the original name for the road. But it soon was changed when the developers decided to reach further back in history, giving the new road the permanent name of Gen. Woods Parkway.
So, who is Gen. Woods? First, it's "Wood." There's no "s" on the end of his name. Specifically, he is Brig. Gen. Robert E. Wood, a Kansas native who served in the U.S. Army in the Panama Canal Zone and during World War I.
Though a decorated military officer, Wood made his real mark in the civilian business world. After the war, Wood went to work for Montgomery Ward, rising to vice president before jumping to Sears Roebuck.
There, Wood is credited with transforming the retailer "into the world's largest merchandiser" while guiding the company through a large part of the 20th century, according to the Sears Web site. Wood oversaw a massive expansion of Sears, and eventually became president and chairman of the company before his retirement in 1954.
So, what does all that have to do with Columbia County? As best we can tell, Wood had no local connection, except this: He knew a smart investment when he saw one, and bought land in Evans - a lot of it.
According to a story in the April 28, 1960 Columbia News, Wood started investing in property in the Greenbrier area in 1912 (while it was still somewhat known as the Kiokee area), slowly amassing 5,000 acres.
Wood sold his holdings in 1960 to Southland Timber Corp., and the property eventually became the Riverwood Plantation site.
Wood died in 1969 at age 90 at his home in Lake Forest, Ill. But with the county's newest - and one of its more badly needed - roads, his name will live on.
It might be too late for that road to help fix this year's school traffic woes, but there's still plenty of time to make sure Wood's name is spelled correctly.
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